May 15, 2007
Tuesday Newsletter May 15, 2007
Volume 27: Issue 20
|This issue of Tuesday is sponsored by Group Travel Technologies.
Managing groups is no easy task! The GroupMinder reservation system takes the hassle out of booking and managing groups, both large and small. For more information, please visit http://www.grouptraveltech.com/.
|Interested in becoming a Tuesday sponsor? E-mail Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTA.travel.|
NTA Seeks Nominations for Board of Directors
Register Now for the 2007 Grassroots Symposium
Market to Group Leaders Through NTA
Tourism Kelowna Donation Helps Tourism Cares
Benefit Basics: Save with ITS Design & Printing
August Courier: Orlando, Pacific Northwest, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario and Wisconsin
Registration for the 2007 NTA Annual Convention in Kansas City opened today at noon ET. The Convention will take place Nov. 2-6 and you can register now at http://convention.nta.travel/.
Mark your calendar for these other important registration deadlines:
- June 15 – Deadline for tour suppliers and DMOs to register to have a chance at full participation in the Tour & Travel Exchange.
For tour suppliers and DMOs, the benefit of early registration is two-fold. First, it gives you a better chance of participating in the appointment scheduling process. Second, appointments are matched based upon registration date, and an earlier registration date will help ensure a greater result from your appointment requests.
- July 6 – Deadline for tour operators to register at the early-bird discount rate.
Tour operators who wish to earn the Convention rebate must register and update their online company profile by July 6. Visit the Convention Web site to see the tour operator rebate requirements.
Watch your mail for Convention information, including a more detailed list of important dates and deadlines. To keep current with the latest news, visit the Convention Web site or contact your Member Services team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
NTA held its inaugural Road Show last week in Kansas City, Missouri, which will be the site of this year’s Annual Convention in November. NTA members and guests joined Vice Chairman Bob Hoelscher, CTP, for lunch and networking at the Marriott Downtown Kansas City. Hoelscher shared news on the latest NTA programs and services and got valuable feedback from everyone in attendance.
"The NTA Road Show offers tremendous value of networking with industry colleagues, learning how we can benefit from each other’s experiences and exploring the possibilities for creating potential partnerships," said Hoelscher. "NTA may be an organization encompassing literally thousands of member companies, bureaus and their respective representatives, but it is still by sitting down and meeting with each other individually and in small groups, as we did in Kansas City, that lasting business relationships are created."
Other upcoming NTA Road Shows include Chicago (June 21), California (late June, exact date to be announced), New York City (July 18) and Florida (September, exact date to be announced). If a Road Show is coming to your area, watch your e-mail for an invitation. Or, if you are interested in attending a Road Show, contact NTA Events Manager Bobbie Chandler.
And don’t forget, if you recruit a new tour operator member, you cannot only expand NTA’s professional network, you can earn a little money as well. Click here to learn how you can earn money toward your Convention registration by recruiting new tour operator members.
The audio portion of the educational seminars from the 2007 Tour Operator Spring Meet is now available at NTA.travel. To hear what presenters Marla Johnson Norris, Paul Vitale, Matt Thornhill, Ralph Weickel and Gordon Titchener had to say on subjects including marketing to boomers, customer service, Web site development and the importance of teamwork, click here.
Additionally, a recap of Spring Meet is at NTA.travel. The specially created Web page uses photos and captions, along with member quotes, to highlight different aspects of the event.
NTA’s election season is underway and if you are interested in leading the association as a member of the board of directors, now is the time to act. The Nominating Committee will be making nominations in July for three tour operator seats, one tour supplier seat and one DMO seat to serve two-year terms, along with nominations for the officer positions of vice chair, treasurer and secretary, which all are one-year terms to be filled by tour operators.
If you want to run for office, you’ll need to complete an interest form by June 1. If you have any questions on the requirements to run, or wish to obtain the form, e-mail NTA Director, Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson.
The nominees will be announced to the full membership in early July via Tuesday, which will be your source for all news pertaining to the 2008 board of directors and officer elections.
NTA’s 2007 Grassroots Symposium will be held in Washington, D.C., Sept. 24-25, immediately preceding the Travel Industry Association Travel Leadership Summit.
Join your colleagues in learning about key travel-related legislation and talk to your elected officials about the importance of the tourism industry. Elected officials and industry insiders will give you the latest information from the Hill and through your participation you can make your voice heard on the issues that affect you most.
Click here to access the registration form. A limited number of rooms are available at the Hotel Washington for a special rate. Indicate on the registration form if you’d like to be in the NTA room block to receive this rate. As always, there is no registration fee to attend the Symposium and all Symposium-related programming is free.
If you have any question regarding the Symposium please e-mail NTA Director, Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson.
Last week, a group of Alaska tour operators brought suit against the state of Alaska regarding cruise line legislation passed by Alaska voters. The suit seeks to combat a provision in the legislation that requires cruise lines to disclose their commission or markup on operator-organized shore excursions, saying it is a violation of operators’ rights.
One of the main arguments against the disclosure is that it isn’t consistent with other requirements. For similar packages offered by Alaska tour operators, companies aren’t required to make such disclosures, and so the singling out of shore excursions makes equal protection an issue.
Lawmakers are expected to take action on Alaska House Bill 217, sponsored by Rep. Lindsey Holmes, D-Anchorage, which would not force commissions to be disclosed unless they were more than 10 percent of the cost of the total sale. The measure also would require cruise lines to declare that other onshore tours were available and to provide contact information that consumers could use to book those excursions on their own.
The travel industry is pushing for more communications from U.S. governmental officials after a new survey of American travelers bears out that a majority of Americans do not know a passport is required when returning to the U.S. via air transportation from all other countries.
Of the 1,980 American adults polled, 56 percent could not correctly answer a question about the countries from which a passport is now required for all U.S. citizens returning on airplanes. The survey, conducted by travelhorizonsTM and released by the Travel Industry Association and Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, also found that 22 percent weren’t sure about the requirements and 7 percent stated no passport was required for any returning resident regardless of the country visited.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, passed by Congress two years ago, calls for all U.S. citizens leaving the country to possess a passport when re-entering the U.S. from all countries, including Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean nations as of Jan. 23, 2007.
Some savvy international tour suppliers have been offering to help ease the blow for U.S. citizens, by paying for passport fees. Nassau and Paradise Island in the Bahamas are running a passport-reimbursement program through which visitors staying a minimum number of nights at any of 19 area properties will receive a rebate for the cost of their passport. Other Caribbean destinations have promoted similar offers for 2007, including St. Lucia, St. Maartan and Anguilla, as has Marriott Resorts International for those going to its resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean.
NTA tour operators said that group leaders are an integral part of their customer base. Your association wants to make it easier for you to market to this influential group of buyers through a special publication, The Trip Planner for Group Leaders.
The Trip Planner for Group Leaders will reach 20,000 qualified group leaders, who have influence, and buying power. Additionally, they:
- have 17 average years of travel planning experience
- coordinate an average of 10 trips per year
- have an average of 24 travelers per group.
The Trip Planner for Group Leaders, to be published in September, will showcase articles and advertising that exclusively promote NTA and its members. The publication will reach group leaders that represent segments including alumni, senior, bank travel, hospitals, religious and travel clubs.
For more information regarding promotional opportunities related to The Trip Planner for Group Leaders, please e-mail Karla DiNardo, NTA’s vice president of sales and publishing or call her at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232.
Tourism Kelowna, host of the NTA Spring Meet last month, made a generous contribution to Tourism Cares in lieu of a tour operator gift. Joan Niemeier, sales manager of travel trade for Tourism Kelowna, presented a check for $3,000 to Tourism Cares Executive Director Bruce Beckham at a luncheon during Spring Meet.
"These funds will go directly into service-learning scholarships for Canadian students studying hospitality and tourism," said Beckham. "These scholarships will be providing all expense paid attendance at the NTA Convention for winning Canadian students. Recipients will learn firsthand what the packaged travel business and volunteering are all about during their time at the NTA Convention."
The Tourism Kelowna Service-Learning Scholarships are available to Canadians attending two-, three- or four-year post-secondary schools. Considering the fact that the school year is close to its end and students are difficult to reach during the summer, Tourism Cares suggests that NTA members in Canada contact student acquaintances they know to encourage them to apply for these awards right away. The application for the service-learning scholarships can be found by clicking here.
As an NTA Corporate Partner, ITS Design & Printing offers exclusive services and special discounts to NTA members. The company serves the needs of NTA members by providing print and multimedia services, which include everything from brochures to posters, presentation folders, original Web design, digital business cards, interactive CDs and kiosk presentations.
NTA members receive preferential discounts including:
The August 2007 issue of Courier offers plenty of opportunity to get your company in front of tour operators. Feature stories in the issue cover theaters and fall foliage. The Trip Planners showcase Orlando and the Pacific Northwest (British Columbia, Northern California, Oregon and Washington) and the Travel Guides highlight Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario and Wisconsin.
The space deadline for August Courier is May 28 so two weeks remain to get in the magazine ranked No. 1 in the industry by tour operators. Click here to view the full 2007 Editorial Calendar. To reach your account executive call 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 or 859.226.4232 or e-mail advertising@NTA.travel for more information.